As I was walking through the Hollywood and Highland shopping mall, I heard a cover of Joni Mitchell’s song, Big Yellow Taxi. At the end of the song, Joni sang, “Late last night, I heard a screen door slam, and a big yellow taxi took away my old man.” Well, Adam Duritz ended it differently with some stupid line like, “…took away my girl friend.” Or the equivalent. According to Wikipedia, the font of all wisdom and knowledge, their cover of this great song came out in 2000. It must have been a flop. I don’t remember hearing it ever on the radio. Fast forward thirteen years, and I’ve heard it and I’m outraged.
So Mr. Duritz’s masculinity is so insecure that he couldn’t sing the song as it was written. Heaven forbid he show the courage of Mr. White Stripes who did a brilliant cover of Dolly Parton’s song, Jolene. He didn’t change a word. He begged Jolene not to “take away my man, even though you can.” Hats off to Jack White. He’s an artist. He has character and integrity. The album that he did with Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose is a masterpiece.
Counting Crows are responsible for such travesties as “Mr. Jones,” and then a bunch of other shitty songs that nobody listens to or cares much about. Adam Duritz is only two years younger than me. That makes him forty eight years old. I hope he snorted up all his profits from that one piece of crap song and dies like Pete Entwistle (a great artist, sorry for the comparison) alone in a Vegas hotel room from heart failure. Am I being extreme? I think not. I’m talking about artistic integrity of which Adam Duritz has none. If he can only butcher a classic song, then he in turn should be butchered.
It doesn’t seem he’s been up to much since 2003. Let’s hope and pray he doesn’t get some kind of comeback album cum tour. The garbage coming out of the radio these days is bad enough: corporate, predictable, and just plain lousy. By the way, will someone tell me the difference between Rap and Hip-Hop? And why should I consider spoken word music?